With a passion for math and problem-solving, Rachid is building toward a more sustainable future.
Hi Rachid! What do you do at First Mode?
I’m a Senior Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis at First Mode Seattle, so I’m always on the lookout for exciting financial opportunities! Working in close collaboration with other departments, I gather and analyze financial data, develop innovative models, and provide strategic advice to our senior management.
As a key member of our finance team, I take pride in mentoring my colleagues and ensuring we meet all regulatory requirements, while also constantly pushing for improvements to our financial processes and systems.
What are you working on right now? And why is this important?
Since First Mode is a clean tech company, we need to be agile and make the best use of our resources to achieve our goal of decarbonizing heavy industry, which is why I’m currently working on updating our budgeting and forecasting systems. On top of helping us streamline our financial planning process, saving us time and enabling us to be more responsive to changes in the market, this will further empower us to make informed decisions that align with our mission and focus points.
How did your interest in finance and forecasting begin? Was there anyone special in your childhood that played a part in this?
My interest in finance began when I discovered my love for math at a young age. I’ve always been drawn to how math is a universal language that can explain and predict so many things. Then, at business school, when I discovered Excel and how it could be used to build financial models, it was like a whole new world opened to me. I could use my passion for math and apply it to real-world business problems.
But I think what really sparked my interest in finance and forecasting was when I was little, my dad used to bring home annual reports of listed companies, and although I was only around nine or 10 years old at the time, I loved reading them, pretending to understand what they contained (Confession: I still do). From there, my interest in using financial reporting to tell the story of companies was born, and he unknowingly set me on the path to becoming a financial analyst.
Why did you decide to join First Mode? How does our mission to provide clean energy solutions for heavy industry drive your work?
I decided to join First Mode because of its mission to create new solutions that make the world a better place.
As a father, it’s important for me to work towards a better future for my daughter and the generations to come. Joining First Mode has given me the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the world both professionally and personally. Every day at work, I’m proud to be part of a team dedicated to making a positive difference in the world.
Do you have a personal mantra, a motto, or a mission statement you like to live by?
Just one? I have so many personal mottos that I often sound like an old philosopher dispensing his teachings in the town square. But if I had to pick just one that really speaks to me, it’d be: “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.”
I know that might sound a little bit risky coming from someone in finance, but to be a great financial analyst, you must be willing to act and make decisions quickly. Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of waiting for approval or access to all the information you need. That’s where the bias to action comes in, and this motto really embodies that spirit.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
I love food, exploring new flavors, and trying new cuisines. The outdoors, hiking, and camping. Traveling to new places, especially where we can have good food and good wine. I like playing soccer with friends and watching Premier League and Champions League matches. I’m a fan of heavy metal music. One day I will have time to try again to learn to play the guitar. I have some old lyrics from high school that deserve to be turned into songs.
If you were stuck on an island, which three tools would you bring?
I’d bring a Swiss army knife, a firestarter, and of course, a cast iron.